Evolution, Ecology & Organismal Biology

Wendy Saltzman

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Office: (951) 827-6356
Fax: (951) 827-4286
3354 Spieth Hall
Email: saltzman@ucr.edu

Wendy Saltzman, Professor

Ph.D., University of California, Davis, 1991


Lab Webpage

Lab Group Photo June 2004
Lab Group Photo July 2007
Lab Group Photo May 2010
Halloween Lab Meeting Oct. 2012
Lab Group Photo June 2014

UCR Daily News Story 15 March 2005
BBC Radio Feature 10 March 2005
CBC Radio Feature 19 March 2005

The research in my lab focuses on behavioral neuroendocrinology, the dynamic and complex interactions among hormones, brain and behavior. For group-living animals, an important determinant of individual fitness is the ability to adjust behavior and physiology in response to salient demands, challenges, and opportunities in the social environment. Our research investigates the processes by which animals accomplish this task, particularly the pivotal roles of the brain and endocrine system.

We are especially interested in the neural, hormonal, sensory, and experiential factors that govern parental care in fathers. The mechanistic basis of mammalian parental behavior has been well characterized in females but remains poorly understood in males. This work provides new insights into the proximate control of paternal behavior in the 5-10% of mammalian species -- including humans -- in which fathers are actively involved in rearing their offspring.

A second major focus in my lab is the effects of parenthood on parents. Reproduction has enormous physiological, morphological, neuroendocrine, and behavioral effects on mammalian mothers, but effects of reproduction on fathers are largely unknown. Thus, we have been investigating effects of fatherhood on fathers’ metabolism, energetics, morphology, neuroendocrine function, and behavior. We focus primarily on the California mouse (Peromyscus californicus), a socially and genetically monogamous rodent in which both mothers and fathers play critical roles in caring for pups.

I participate in the Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology Graduate Program, as well as the interdepartmental graduate programs in Neuroscience and Biomedical Sciences. I also participate in IDEA, the UCR Institute for the Development of Educational Applications.



Go to complete publication list with PDF reprints
  • Saltzman, W., Digby, L.J. and Abbott, D.H. 2009. Reproductive skew in female common marmosets: what can proximate mechanisms tell us about ultimate causes? Proceedings of the Royal Society B 276: 389-399. (invited review paper).[PDF file]
  • De Jong, T.R., Measor, K.R., Chauke, M., Harris, B.N. and Saltzman, W. 2010. Brief pup exposure induces Fos expression in the lateral habenula and serotonergic caudal dorsal raphe nucleus of parentally experienced male California mice (Peromyscus californicus). Neuroscience 169: 1094-1104. [PDF file]
  • Chauke, M., Malisch, J.L., Robinson, C., de Jong, T.R. and Saltzman, W. 2011. Effects of reproductive status on behavioral and endocrine responses to acute stress in a biparental rodent, the California mouse (Peromyscus californicus). Hormones and Behavior 60: 128-138. [PDF file]
  • Harris, B.N., Perea-Rodriguez, J.P. and Saltzman, W. 2011. Acute effects of corticosterone injection on paternal behavior in California mouse (Peromyscus californicus) fathers.Hormones and Behavior 60:666-675. [PDF file]
  • Saltzman, W., Boettcher, C.A., Post, J.L. and Abbott, D.H. 2011. Inhibition of maternal behaviour by central infusion of corticotrophin-releasing hormone in marmoset monkeys. Journal of Neuroendocrinology 23:1139-1148. [PDF file]
  • Harris, B.N., Saltzman, W., de Jong T.R. and Milnes, M.R. 2012. Hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis function in the California mouse (Peromyscus californicus): Changes in baseline activity, reactivity, and fecal excretion of glucocorticoids across the diurnal cycle. General and Comparative Endocrinology 179: 436-450. [PDF file]
  • de Jong, T.R., Korosi, A., Harris, B.N., Perea-Rodriguez, J.P. and Saltzman, W. 2012. Individual variation in paternal responses of virgin male California Mice (Peromyscus californicus): Behavioral and physiological correlates. Physiological and Biochemical Zoology 85: 740-751. [PDF file]
  • de Jong, T.R., Harris, B.N., Perea-Rodriguez, J.P. and Saltzman, W.  2013.  Physiological and neuroendocrine responses to chronic variable stress in male California mice (Peromyscus californicus):  Influence of social environment and paternal state.  Psychoneuroendocrinology 38:2023-2033.
  • Perea-Rodriguez, J.P. and Saltzman W.  2014.  Differences in placentophagia in relation to male and female reproductive status in the California mouse (Peromyscus californicus).  Developmental Psychobiology 56: 812-820.
  • Saltzman, W. and Ziegler, T.E.  2014.  Functional significance of hormonal changes in mammalian fathers. Journal of Neuroendocrinology 26:685-696.
  • Perea-Rodriguez, J.P., Takahashi, E.Y., Amador, T.M., Hao, R.C., Saltzman, W. and Trainor, B.C. 2015. Effects of reproductive experience on central expression of progesterone, oestrogen α, oxytocin and vasopressin receptor mRNA in male California mice (Peromyscus californicus). Journal of Neuroendocrinology 27: 245-252.
  • Andrew, J.R., Saltzman, W., Chappell, M.A. and Garland, T. Jr. 2016. Consequences of fatherhood in the biparental California mouse (Peromyscus californicus): Locomotor performance, metabolic rate, and organ masses.  Physiological and Biochemical Zoology 89: 130-140.
  • Horrell, N.D., Perea-Rodriguez, J.P., Harris, B.N. and Saltzman, W. 2017. Effects of repeated pup exposure on behavioral, neural, and adrenocortical responses to pups in male California mice (Peromyscus californicus). Hormones and Behavior 90: 56-63.
  • Zhao, M., Garland, T. Jr., Chappell, M.A., Andrew, J.R. and Saltzman W. 2017. Metabolic and affective consequences of fatherhood in male California mice.  Physiology and Behavior 177: 57-67.
  • Saltzman, W., Harris, B.N., de Jong, T.R., Perea-Rodriguez, J.P., Horrell, N.D., Zhao, M. and Andrew. J.R. In press. Paternal care in biparental rodents:  Intra- and inter-individual variation. Integrative and Comparative Biology.

Recent Teaching
  • Biology 171, Human Anatomy and Physiology
  • Biology 178, Hormones and Behavior

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